Fyfe Dangerfield - Fly Yellow Moon
Just four short years ago, Guillemots were being hailed as one of the best young bands in the UK – and with good reason, too. The London-based band's debut 'Through the Window Pane' was a heartbreakingly sweet album, an amalgam of indie, avant-garde pop and jazz, wrapped in a fuzzy coating of cotton wool and dipped in hundreds-and-thousands.
So what happened? Lead singer Fyfe Dangerfield's appearance on Never Mind the Buzzcocks was more memorable than their second offering 'Red', and since then, the quartet have kept a relatively low profile, although new material is on the horizon. Before that, Dangerfield – the brains behind the operation – is taking a sidestep into solo terrain. 'Fly Yellow Moon', with a couple of tracks steered by the production nous of Bernard Butler, is no album of soppy love songs. Well, maybe there are a few love songs. OK, most of them are love songs, but the majority are certainly not soppy.
Dangerfield proves himself to be a stellar all-round songwriter with this album; it may be bookended by two songs with faint electronica currents, but the marvellously rich, composed guitar cabaret of 'So Brand New' evokes memories of Richard Hawley, the sweetly strummed 'High on the Tide' could pass for a Roddy Frame tune, while 'She Needs Me' apparently takes in every stage of Paul McCartney's career, from simplistic piano tinkling to overblown '70s cheese in less than five minutes.
Dangerfield seems in thrall to his heroes, but critically, he avoids mimicking them. Tenderness, fizz, romantic slush and catchy pop abounds on 'Fly Yellow Moon'. Perhaps he shouldn't bother returning to the day job.
Review by Lauren Murphy | 09:00 | Monday 18th January 2010 | Album Review